Jon Tattersall, the 2013 Georgia PGA Section Teacher of the Year, is the PGA Co-Founder and Director of Golf at Fusion Atlanta in Atlanta, Georgia.
The breadth of golf fitness centers can range from a 20-by-20-foot space with a few mats in a spare room, to a full-service performance center on the club’s property. As an external facility, we host events and educational opportunities for clubs, welcoming their PGA Professionals into our space to show them what we do and how they can assume a portion of that focus with their students. We often play a consulting role in advising clubs what they should do to implement golf fitness in their programming.
One of the areas where I feel there is a real need, and one that renders room for huge growth, is awareness. How do you get the golfers to implement fitness in a lite version to begin with? The practice range could be the answer. Create a fitness-like scenario around the range so the golfers can come in and do some movements to warm up before a lesson, a practice session or a round of golf. There are several ways to do this. Implementing the tools to introduce golf fitness can be the foundation upon which an extensive program is launched or long-term partnership with an external facility is initiated.
You can have a movement stretching station or a brief warm-up regimen. The facility’s PGA Professionals can evaluate a golfer’s needs based on visual analysis, watching him or her stretch to understand their limitations. This is the first step to opening their eyes to the greater benefits that golf fitness presents. They’ll often want to learn more, and do more.
By understanding the challenges posed in introducing the benefits of golf fitness, it is often more effective to bring the fitness to them, similar
to the PGA Free Lesson Month program of years ago. If you give someone a sample, they’ll often want more. Golfers need to understand that if they can move better, they will play better. It must become part of their routine and not represent an additional part of their day – it’s the natural precursor to playing golf. Golf fitness then becomes the long-term catalyst to playing better golf and living a healthier life.